Greek police fired tear gas and water cannons on Saturday to break up a demonstration of thousands of people protesting against mandatory COVID 19 vaccinations.
Authorities said demonstrators flung flares at police in Greece’s second-biggest city of Thessaloniki, who blocked them from attempting to reach the area where Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due to deliver his yearly economic address.
The yearly speech typically attracts hordes of demonstrators, and police estimated more than 15,000 people, including labour unions, took part in the demonstrations on matters ranging from economic policy to COVID 19 vaccines.
The protestors fought with riot police near the venue, launching firebombs, firecrackers and stones at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades and gave chase to the demonstrators. The clashes lasted about an hour, and there were nine arrests.
There were also protest marches by unionists and the extreme left. Participants in the latter burned a US and a European Union flag, as well as electricity bills, but there was no encounter with police.
Demonstrations against COVID 19 vaccinations started in July after the government declared the mandatory inoculation of health care workers and nursing home workers.
Authorities have suggested vaccines could become obligatory for other groups too, such as educators.
The Federation of Public Hospital Workers POEDYN, said in a statement, yes to vaccines, but not mandatorily.
Greece has suspended almost 6,000 frontline health care workers from their jobs for missing a September 1 deadline to get at least one vaccine shot.
Earlier this month, it offered unvaccinated healthcare workers another chance to get a shot and allow those who’ve been suspended to return to work.
POEDYN is worried that a total of 10,000 unvaccinated workers could be suspended, disrupting operations at understaffed hospitals at a time when infections remain high.
Tougher air, sea and rail transport constraints also come into effect on Monday, with the unvaccinated no longer entitled to free testing.
The demonstrations came as Mitsotakis gave a talk on Greece’s economy, his keynotes address at the Thessaloniki International Fair, where heads of government traditionally announcing the coming year’s politics.
Mitsotakis noted that there were approximately 70,000 more people employed than before, despite the pandemic, 46,000 extra businesses, and bank savings increased by 35 billion euros (£29 billion), of which 20 billion increased by 35 billion euros (£29 billion), of which 20 billion (£17 billion) were from additional household savings.
The prime minister also put particular importance on climate change following extensive wildfires that devastated the country last month.
It’s occurring all over the world, but it looks like the news is being suppressed – no surprise then that Boris Johnson is teetering on introduction here.
Up until a little while ago, the West didn’t need to worry themselves with civil rights or human rights et cetera for the overall population. The attention was always on other nations with corrupt leaders who had no idea of democracy.
But now we see the authorities and ruling elites in our own countries that have chosen to follow them by driving out all freedoms, those freedoms that we fought for over the centuries, but now all they seem to want to do is achieve their own nefarious aims and enslave people.
People should stand up around the world and react against this. Maybe everyone should take a leaf from Greece’s book and quit ignoring what’s going on before it’s too late.
We could call it the Peasant’s Revolt. After all, we’ve not had one of those in the last 630’s years.
After all, there’s nothing wrong with people prepared to stand up for themselves, who believe, but more importantly – PROUD.
The governments have weaponised fear into you, using it against you, and we all know that fear is a powerful emotion that overrides rational thinking!